Following today’s announcement of the Government’s approval for a Tribunal of Inquiry to examine the complaints processes in the Defence Forces by An Tánaiste and Minister for Defence, Mr Micheál Martin TD, Óglaigh na hÉireann stands ready to work with and support the Inquiry.
The Defence Forces, working in close cooperation with the Department of Defence, is committed to and progressing the redesign of grievance procedures and HR policies. In addition, the Defence Forces have commenced mandatory Sexual Ethics and Respectful Relationships workshops, Unconscious Bias training and will continue holding personnel to account for any acts of misconduct or misbehaviour. In this regard, the Defence Forces have taken the important step of passing any alleged sexual offences to An Garda Síochána, in line with the relevant IRG recommendation, and while awaiting the enactment of the relevant amendment of the Defence Act.
“My first priority as Chief of Staff is the safety and wellbeing of our serving members and we in the Defence Forces are fully committed to implementing cultural change. On joining Óglaigh na hÉireann, our members commit themselves to selflessly serve the State and its citizens. Our personnel are proud to serve in the Defence Forces and do their job to the highest standards at home and overseas. We are working tirelessly and making progress to ensure the Defence Forces is a workplace, where the pervading culture is underpinned by the principles of dignity, equality, mutual respect and duty of care. I am confident and determined that we can deliver the transformation required and build a better Defence Forces ready to meet the threats facing the State."
“I look forward to my first engagement with the External Oversight Body’s Chair, Professor Brian McCraith and working closely with the membership of the Body over the coming months and years to further develop a better and stronger Defence Forces that protects, develops and nurtures our most valued resource – our people.”